No Green in Sight for Boomer Barbie


Badgley Mischka Red Carpet (2008)

As an international icon, Barbie has been lucky enough to have designers like Anna Sui, Diane Von Furstenberg and Derek Lam custom-create both lavish ball gowns and wardrobe essentials. I can only hope that of these hip designers, there will be one or two visionaries helping the immortalized Barbie evolve into something more substantial – if she has to be part of our toy line-up, at all.


In April 2010, Barbie will get another marketing stroke of genius (if not another revenue boost) when designers from the Toronto Fashion Incubator take part in the TFI New Labels Fashion Design Competition. Canadian’s women’s wear designers with less than three years experience will be given the task of creating and presenting 15 fashion looks in which three of them will be Barbie-inspired, little black dresses taken to new extremes.

Adriana Gut, Barbie Brand Manager of Mattel Canada says in a press release: “Our partnership with the Toronto Fashion Incubator further solidifies Barbie’s place in fashion. Her role within the program will celebrate the launch of Barbie Basics, a new line of dolls that invite girls of all ages to customize, personalize, and play based on the timeless fashion classic – the Little Black Dress!”

Judged by some of the most influential people in the fashion industry today, the winner will be presented with a $10,000 cash prize provided by Mattel Canada as well as a prize package valued at over $25,000 provided by ELLE Canada.

As iconic as the LBD is, how about making Barbie symbolize more than excess clothing and unattainable beauty, Mattel?

Why not commission the same TFI designers to create sustainable garb for the almost 51-years-old Babs?

Some might say eco just isn’t in line with who Barbie is, with her made-in-China ideals. Maybe Barbie is too old for green, stuck in her baby boomer ways.

According to the Toronto Fashion Incubator’s site, TFI New Labels® is a national design competition for apparel designers looking to make it in Canada’s fashion industry.

“We are tickled pink to partner with the makers of the most iconic fashion doll in history,” says Susan Langdon, Executive Director of TFI.

Image: Toronto Fashion Incubator

Amy DuFault

Amy DuFault is a conscious lifestyle writer, consultant and fashion instigator. She resides in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.